Sunday, July 21, 2024

Transport for NSW gets new bus operator on board with service plan

Transport for NSW has been working with the new bus operator in Sydney’s Region 10, U-Go Mobility, on a “stabilisation plan” after the Department was forced to step in when the operator failed to deliver expected services levels.

NSW Minister for Transport, Jo Haylen said that while there was still much more to be done before services in Region 10 returned to normal, the disruption has resulted in reduced unplanned service cancellations, reduced complaints, and increased levels of community engagement, particularly with local school communities.

The Minister said there were dedicated Transport for NSW resources on the ground at U-Go Mobility depots to improve reliability, safety and action taken to improve service delivery, including prioritisation of key services.

“We still aren’t satisfied with the level of service in Region 10, but we are seeing some significant improvements for passengers,” she said.

“Thanks to Transport’s intervention in Region 10, we’re seeing fewer service cancellations and fewer complaints but bus services still haven’t returned to normal.

“We now have a cure plan in place to bring back the level of bus services that the community expects and the government will continue to hold the operator to account until that happens.”

Since the adjusted temporary timetable was put in place in Region 10 on 31 July, unplanned service cancellations are down from an average of 400 per week-day to an average of 86 per weekday.

Bus marshals have been deployed at key interchanges, including Hurstville, Bankstown, Sutherland and Miranda to assist passengers.

Transport for NSW is also working with U-Go Mobility to ensure robust recruitment plans are in place to manage driver shortages and a recruitment pipeline, to assist in service delivery.

The operator has prioritised dedicated school services to reduce impacts on school students. Public service routes used by large numbers of local school students have also been identified and prioritised.

U-Go Mobility now has a dedicated school’s liaison officer working with local schools to provide regular communication, capture feedback and proactively manage school issues, including real-time contact regarding impacted school services.

From 17 August 2023, Transit Systems has temporarily taken over the operation of 18 dedicated school bus services, to improve their reliability. 

Nightride services are being supported by other contracted operators’ buses when needed. 

Transport for NSW is also working on providing additional support for elderly or vulnerable passengers, or those without access to travel apps. Hard copies of timetables have been issued to MP Electorate Offices to provide to constituents.

Transport Management Centre Commanders will also patrol back routes to provide greater visibility/presence and ensure passengers are not left waiting for long periods at bus stops due to cancellations.

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